Sean Perry felt dislocated from the unsavoury events that were unfolding about him. It was that particular mode of self enforced denial which the brain decides to resort to when things begin to go horribly wrong. Wrong to the extent that it convinces itself that normal reality has been postponed and replaced with a surreal scene from a particularly frightful or disturbing movie, during which belief can be suspended on the basis that there is surely no way whatsoever that this can actually be happening to you.
"It's just another routine job," Joel had said earlier that morning. "I've been on a few of these things now. Believe me, they're so well planned that they're practically boring!"
Perry was far from bored.
The ridiculously muscular, bald headed man wearing a skin tight vest and swinging a shotgun around in an alarming fashion, had his complete and undivided attention.
"It's a shame, Doyle, if that's your name," the man shouted as he swaggered about the hanger floor. "I was hoping to introduce myself to your Rector personally. In fact, I'm very disappointed, you understand me?"
Doyle, dressed in his trademark tweed suit, as ever the personification of cool and collected, held his palms up before him, passively, "I understand you, Angus, of course," he spoke calmly, persuasively, "but you must try and appreciate my position, too."
Angus swung about, the barrel of the shotgun sweeping around randomly, causing Perry to duck involuntarily, from where he was seated before the PC on the mock up table.
"I don't have to appreciate nothin'. You ain't dealing with Maltravers no more. Like I said, he's been retired. That soft bullshit's over. There ain't gonna be no more of that old pal's act."
Angus was flanked at a distance by a dozen armed men arranged around the hanger. At least half a dozen more were stationed at intervals between the entrance to the disused airfield and the doors to the hanger itself. The armoured van and the single BMW saloon car in which The Rector's men had arrived were parked just outside, under the supervision of Serge. Within were Doyle, Steiner, two of Steiner's 'Actives' and Joel and himself, the two of them seated nervously before the machines that were meant to be the subject of this 'routine job'. Perry realised, probably not as quickly as the others, that the tirade being enacted before them now had not been preempted, and hence was far from part of 'the plan'.
"Like I've already said," Doyle continued in a friendly manner, his arms held wide apart, "I'm only authorised to deal with Mr. Maltravers. We've been working with him for some time, built up quite a rapport. You know how these things develop, I'm sure."
Angus, whose face had turned a worrying shade of purple, exploded on Doyle. "I'm telling you how it's going to work. Are you deaf, or what? I don't care about your authorisation. The deal is going down, today!"
Perry looked at Joel, who fixed him with a steady stare, clearly meant to convey 'it's all going to work out fine'.